If you’re a student of filmmaking or just a film fan who also likes writing a blog, you will likely have to craft an essay on a movie’s analysis at some point. Writing a film analysis essay can either be very difficult or very simple, depending on how prepared you are for it. This guide will teach you all the basics you need to craft such a written piece, and you won’t have to worry about it any longer. 

📽️ Intro to Film Analysis

Before we get started, it’s important to know what this term stands for. Simply put, a movie analysis lays out the synopsis of what you’ve just watched. It can be written in many ways and styles, but it’s essentially your review of the content. It is usually crafted in a very academic tone when written for school but can be very candid as well if written for a personal blog. 

✍️ Important Terms

There are a ton of different terms you’ll come across when writing a film analysis essay outline. However, here are some of the main ones you should keep in mind:

  • Auteur

Auteur is French for the word author. This can be confusing at first because Auteur does not actually mean a film’s author. Instead, it is a word used for the director because that is the most crucial role on a set that manages everything from the direction to the management of the crew.

  • Diegesis

Everything that is created and then transferred onto the screen is diegesis. This is a word that describes all the fictional elements in the world created by the filmmaker. 

  • Plot

This is the sequence of events that lead to the creation of the complete storyline that’s being shown.

  • Flashback/Flash-forward 

A flashback is a jump back in time that takes the viewer into the past to show something that better explains the present. A flash-forward is the opposite and takes the audience into the future. 

  • Scene and Sequence

This is a short collection of some shots. A number of scenes join to give rise to larger sequences. 

📜 Main Types

Before you jump into crafting your analysis draft, it is vital to understand the various types of analyses you can create. Here are some common ones:

  • Narrative

Perhaps the simplest kind, a narrative structure relies on examining everything from the storyline to the characters and their motives. At each step of your work, you have to answer who, what, and where. 

  • Semiotic

You may notice that the production you’re watching has some repetitive symbols or signs. Understanding the hidden meaning of these and assessing their usage is the essence of a semiotic analysis. 

  • Cultural

Researching the cultural context and socio-political agenda behind a story and then crafting a written text about its importance is what this type of analytical review revolves around. This is equally compelling and challenging. 

  • Mise-en-scene

Analyzing all that goes into making a good film, from the soundtrack to the lighting and special effects, is what this type is concerned with. This is for those who appreciate every single thing and piece of editing that makes a visually compelling and gripping storyline. 

📼 Popular Genres 

Before you can begin working on your paper, don’t forget to mention what genre the film belongs to. A small description of the style might help the reader set their expectations right. Here are the most commonly found genres:

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • Horror
  • Action
  • Thriller
  • Romance
  • Mystery
  • Fantasy
  • Historical

How to Write a Film Analysis

Having a good plan of action for the process is ideal to start writing. It’s very helpful to read some film analysis essay examples first to help you in presenting your own academic paper. After reading a sample analysis, you can begin crafting your critical analysis in the following steps:

  • Outline

It is essential to get started with a good outline of the script. Think of this as a summary in which you give readers a quick overview of what they should expect from the material that comes next. 

  • Thesis 

Your thesis statement should include the primary argument and concepts you want to prove via your research. Remember that this portion needs support from the text that you’ve written in the general body. 

  • Introduction

Discuss the essence of the film’s storyline and mention information like its name, release date, cast, etc. This part should offer all the general info a reader needs. You must also catch the readers’ attention at this point. 

  • Body 

Breaking down the whole production into specific parts will help you do justice to each of them. Write about the direction, the scenario, the acting, the music, the lighting, and whatever else you want to analyze. Avoid creating a wall of text in your film writing task because it will get boring and take away from all the work you’ve done. 

  • Conclusion 

This is where you should revisit your thesis and ensure that the conclusion you’ve made supports it. This is often the top part of a movie analysis that students forget about. You need to focus on which ideas should be mentioned on this page to bring everything to a great close. 

🗒️ Film Analysis Template and Example

If you’re still finding it hard to get started, you can read an example or two to help you begin. To make it even easier for you, here’s a short sample to give you some inspiration:

Solaris by Andrey Tarkovsky


Released in 1972 and directed by Andrey Tarkovsky, Solaris is an English production based on the science fiction novel written by Stanislav Lem. The film’s slogan states, “Let us take you with us to Solaris, the planet of mystery, an embodiment of man’s latent conflict with the unknown.” How successful was the auteur in conveying this message, and how did he manage to do so if yes? 


Tarkovsky has used some excellent visual tools to convey his message. Solaris is a symphony of these elements, from the sparkling depiction of nature to the cold chill of the space station. The colors are vivid and mysterious where needed. Even the temperature changes are showcased via these shades of colors to immerse the viewer. Watching the movie will have you realize the protagonist Calvin’s realization that loneliness is the ultimate suffering of every intelligent being in the universe. This realization is one that connects him with the “Supermind.” Based on this realization, Calvin plunges into the Ocean, ceasing all effort to understand it, giving himself away to its power.


Solaris is a gripping tale of how unprepared humans are when it comes to understanding new worlds and universes. Unless they study and explore themselves fully, they will be unable to comprehend the new. Tarkovsky’s use of color, sound, and other effects are effective tools in creating a gripping tale. 


So, now you know how to craft the best essays focusing on reviewing and assessing a film of your choice. These tips and pieces of advice should help you create a professional piece of text that goes into all the necessary details of a production, from the storyline to character development. All you need to do now is find a title that suits your mood and get to writing!